With a thundering left hand in the middle of the octagon, Francis Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight championship from Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Ngannou moves to 16-3 career as an MMA fighter, and with his fifth-straight knockout he also avenged one of those three losses. He becomes the king of the hill in MMA at the age of 34, but with plenty of quality fights left in front of him.
It’s likely a rematch with Miocic could be on the table soon, which would make the Croatian part of two unforgettable trilogies: He just beat Daniel Cormier in August of 2020 to take the final two of three from the first double-weight-class champion in UFC history.
But who might Ngannou’s face next? The best to ever do it in Jon Jones made it clear he’d be interested in a fight.
Show me the money— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 28, 2021
UFC President Dana White seems less enamored with the idea.
Dana White: If I'm Jon Jones and I'm home watching this fight, I start thinking of moving to 185. #UFC260— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) March 28, 2021
Jones retorted quickly:
Go to 185? I didn’t gain all this weight for no reason— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 28, 2021
Other potential opponents include... Derrick Lewis?? Ranked No. 2 at 265 lbs., he’s won four in a row and is one of the three fighters to have beaten Ngannou in his career. But otherwise the list of potential contenders to the newly-inherited throne seems pretty short.
Who will get the next shot at the new champion? We’ll have to wait and see.